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Klein ISD Special Education Department Awarded $24,990 from KEF for ‘Bridge Center Bistro’ Lead the Spark Grant

Klein ISD Special Education Department Awarded $24,990 from KEF for ‘Bridge Center Bistro’ Lead the Spark Grant
Jess Williams

The Klein ISD Special Education Department was recently honored with a grant from the Klein ISD Education Foundation (KEF) to establish the ‘Bridge Center Bistro.’ The ‘Bridge Center Bistro’ aims to offer genuine learning experiences and employment opportunities in hospitality and retail for Klein ISD students receiving special education services.

During a surprise visit orchestrated by the KEF Celebration Express, the school received this esteemed grant in the presence of Foundation directors, community members, and our esteemed Superintendent, Dr. Jenny McGown. 

Amidst an atmosphere of joy and excitement, Klein ISD staff warmly welcomed numerous Foundation supporters who disembarked from the Celebration Express school bus. Substantial grants were presented to the recipients, including our hardworking staff members.

Generously sponsored by PBK, the $24,990 grant will empower students and equip them with employment skills related to running a bistro, emphasizing customer service, food preparation, and teamwork. The focus is on advancing independence, enhancing communication, and nurturing vocational and life skills. 

Adult learners will manage all aspects of bistro operations under supervision, allowing them to actively develop crucial employment and life skills. Additionally, they will engage with both the district and community, gaining valuable experience in customer service, communication, and food service.

The Bistro will operate during school hours, enabling Klein ISD staff to make purchases, and will also take reservations for extended hours, serving as a community meeting space. The hope is that once operational, other districts in Texas will look to this model as an innovative approach worth emulating.

“It’s true, food brings people together! Good for the teachers and students from the KOHS Special Services Team for finding a way to bridge the gap between school and the real world,” KEF President Bill Lakin said. “The opportunity to learn those life skills for living on your own and providing for oneself is powerful. It is actually the formula we have always been looking for, a smooth and real life opportunity to live a quality life. I am thrilled for the students and the community this grant will provide for.”

In this fall round, the KEF Celebration Express distributed grants totaling $79,134, enriching educational experiences for our learners. These grants encompass various innovative and engaging projects, from initiatives focused on Math fluency to those enhancing Literacy. The Fall 2023 grant recipients are not just innovative but also serve as inspirations in their dedication to education.

We extend heartfelt gratitude to all our grant sponsors whose contributions have made these initiatives possible. Your support plays a pivotal role in enhancing the educational journey of every Klein ISD student.

The Klein ISD Education Foundation accepts grant applications biannually, encouraging, facilitating, and acknowledging creative projects that drive academic success for our Klein ISD students.

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Klein ISD has an established 85-year history of excellence and innovation in education with unique pathways for EVERY student in our care to ensure learners are college, career, military, and life ready. With recognition for STEM, athletics, fine arts, and academics from highly-esteemed organizations, it is clear that our shared vision of every student entering with a promise and exiting with a purpose is a reality for EVERY student who walks through our doors.

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Klein ISD is a school district in Klein, Texas, located in northwestern Harris County. The district spans approximately 88 square miles and serves more than 54,000 students in 33 elementary schools, 10 intermediate campuses, one high school program of choice, and 5 high schools.

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